Last weekend, the Plattsburgh State men’s hockey team played Geneseo and Brockport for what PSUC considered one of the hardest weekends of the season, and won both games. The team never got themselves down and showed heart in the wins.
This week the team swept the SUNYAC awards. Junior defenseman Rich Botting, who scored the game winner in the 1-0 win over Geneseo, took home the SUNYAC Player of the Week, sophomore Brady Rouleau got the SUNYAC Goalie of the Week and freshman forward Matt Quilty took home SUNYAC Rookie of the Week honors.
Quilty said this weekend was a good jumping off point for the rest of the season and a good start to his college career.
“I thought we worked hard. It is still the start of the year, so we are starting to find the chemistry and everything,” Quilty said. “I think the effort is there. It will take a little bit, but wegot four points, so you can’t complain too much.”
Against the Knights, the Cardinals battled in a hard-fought game where Rouleau got his first start of the season and recorded a shutout. Junior forward Kevin Emmerling said the team played well defensively.
“Obviously Brady got a shutout, which is great for him,” Emmerling said. “That’s awesome to see. Anytime we can help out or goalie and not give up any goals is great for the team.”
Head coach Bob Emery said the Geneseo goalie and defense played a great game, especially in the first eight minutes.
In the second game of the weekend on Saturday, the Cards were able to come back after allowing two goals in the first period. Emery said he told his team to keep playing the same way.
“After 2-0 in the locker room I told them, I said, ‘Guys, we just got to be more responsible in our own end and keep playing the same way,’ because I thought we were carrying the play even down 2-0,” Emery said.
Quilty said even though the team started out with a deficit, they were still keeping a level head.
“It was really calm on the bench and everybody’s like ‘Don’t worry about it, we are going to come back in this game,’ and I really like that in a team,” Quilty said. “There’s no panic there at all and it’s good to see.”
One of the big things in games is trying to score the first goal, Emmerling said, and after that the flood gates opened. The team made some minor changes to the team strategy and scored its first goal and then went on a streak of scoring six unanswered goals.
One of the those things is scoring during the power play, where they have converted just once in 17 opportunities. Emery said that to get better on the power play, his team just needs to be more aggressive.
“I think we need to move the puck faster, take more shots and be a little bit more selfish out there — I think that’s the key,” Emery said. “Most power-play goals are scrums or rebounds, so we just have to get bodies by the net a little better.”
This weekend, PSUC will play against Buffalo State and Fredonia in two matches that are expected to be hard- fought contests.
Emery said Buffalo is a good defensive team, but he is hoping for a 1-0 win. He said he hopes the team will be able to generate more than the one goal, but the Bengals play good defense around the goalie and have the ability to block a lot of shots.
The second game of the weekend is against Fredonia, and Quilty said he is excited to be able to play in a hard-fought match in front of the home crowd with the team being able to feed off of their energy.
Emmerling said he is expecting strong competition and thinks an early lead will give the Cards two more wins.
“I think if we come out right from the get-go and sustain a lead early,” he said, “I think our defense will take care of itself and I think if everybody is doing their job, we will be all right.”
Email Nick Topping at email@example.com.